By James Slater – “Bomber” Tony Bellew is to face dangerous fellow slugger Edison Miranda on a big London show set for September 8th, the two light-heavies to contest the vacant WBC International title. Also set to appear on the show is former middleweight title challenger Darren Barker, who will return to action (against Italy’s Simone Rotolo) for the first time since his game challenge of Sergio Martinez.
It will almost certainly be the 175-pound showdown that is the fight of the night action-wise though.
29-year-old Liverpudlian Bellew, 17-1(11) and beaten only on points by Nathan Cleverly, is hardly ever in a bad fight, and 31-year-old Colombian Miranda is the same. Though “Pantera,” 35-7(30) has lost every time he’s stepped up in class, he never goes away without a fight and, as those 30 KO’s prove, the former IBF middleweight and super-middleweight title challenger can bang with the best of them.
Stopped three times, but never as a light-heavyweight, Miranda has lost four of his last seven and his best days are almost certainly behind him. But against Bellew, Miranda might have a puncher’s chance. It will depend on which tactics Bellew adopts. If he slugs it out, as he did in his thrilling first fight with Ovill McKenzie and as he did at times in the 12-rounder with Cleverly, Bellew may give Miranda a chance to land with a bomb of his own. But if Bellew keeps his cool and boxes smartly, looking to pick his shots, the older, perhaps faded visiting fighter figures to be in trouble.
Fans will likely be hoping the spark gets lit and that the war develops. If it does, this one could be very special. Miranda must know that this fight will likely be his last shot at the big time, and Bellew will know that he cannot afford to slip up against a dangerous, hungry, perhaps even desperate co-challenger.
If Miranda has been stopped a number of times, Bellew’s chin has also been cracked a couple of times. McKenzie dropped him heavily in their first fight, while Bob Ajisafe also scored a knockdown over “Bomber” before losing on points. In both fights, Bellew went down in the early stages of the fight: maybe Miranda’s best bet will be to come out smoking and try to get lucky in the first few rounds?
Bellew looks the more versatile of the two, although Miranda has a good stiff jab and he can box when he forces himself to, and the younger man will likely have more than one game-plan. Miranda’s best chance has to be by KO, but when and if he does open up, will Miranda’s dodgy chin let him down once again?
Miranda has boxed in London before, so he’s unlikely to be intimidated by the British crowd, and only the very best have taken “Pantera” out. Is Bellew one of the very best?
I go for Bellew to weather any early fire and come on to win by late-rounds TKO. .